Women in the world of adult education 1920–1945

Kumbhat, Pushpa (2022) Women in the world of adult education 1920–1945. Women's History Review. pp. 1-20. ISSN 0961-2025

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This article uncovers the important participation by women in adult education between 1920 and 1945 in Yorkshire. It contributes to the current historiography by using statistical evidence, not previously used, to quantify and analyse the numbers of women and men students participating in adult education. Regional statistics collected by the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) in Yorkshire and the University of Leeds, show that the number of women students matched and sometimes outnumbered male students attending adult education classes before and during the Second World War. The evidence reinforces the hypothesis that when male students were not present (as in war time) to attend adult education, women students readily filled those student places. This hypothesis indicates that a paradox existed in the world of adult education whereby in theory equal opportunities existed for men and women to access adult education, but structural barriers remained in place that limited the ability of women to attend classes. The article argues that structural barriers were a distinctive element in making adult education realistically accessible to women following their enfranchisement in 1918 and 1928 as equal citizens. It encourages a rethinking of the relationship between gender, educational opportunities and citizenship in the early twentieth century.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Art and Humanities
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 10:25
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 10:25
URI: https://newman.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17330

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